OXFORD to CAMBRIDGE ARC

At Bidwells, we’ve long recognised the Oxford Cambridge Arc’s potential to transform the UK economy

For more than 180 years we have advised the Oxford Cambridge Arc’s world-famous universities, who are among the biggest land landowners in the UK. Today, we manage its most significant real estate assets, including the world-renowned Cambridge Science Park and Harwell Campus in Oxford, Europe’s largest science park.

We’ve long understood the Oxford Cambridge Arc’s leading businesses and institutions are not driven simply by a chase for economic growth but by an academic push to combat the universal challenges threatening our planet and humankind.  

Our deep understanding of the region and unrivalled knowledge of its markets are our key differentiators, and the source of our ability to unlock value of behalf of our clients.

A Vision Built on Good Growth

Bidwells’ research suggests that current growth forecasts may underestimate the potential of the economic impact of the Arc. The projections do not take into account infrastructure investment, while also adopting conservative growth forecasts. We estimate the Oxford Cambridge Arc contributed around £111bn to the UK economy in 2019 and it is projected to grow this contribution to almost £400bn by 2050.

But attitudes towards growth are changing. Consensus is building for rapid action to decarbonise our economies and our leaders are challenged to deliver ‘Good Growth’ - health, affordable housing and a high-quality environment - rather than simply jobs, skills, incomes and a rise in GDP.

With developers facing unprecedented pressure to respond to the public’s changing attitudes, a region already delivering high levels of Good Growth in forward-looking local authority areas such as Oxford and Cambridge, provides a golden opportunity for forward-looking sustainable development.

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Recent
An introduction to the Arc Spatial Plan MHCLG

Government’s Oxford-Cambridge Arc plan to help drive £20bn investment

As leading property advisor to the science and technology sector Bidwells welcomes government moves announced this morning that will help bring billions of pounds of funding for jobs, housing and infrastructure into the Arc’s knowledge economy.
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A bold and brave step towards prosperity

Bidwells' head of planning, Mike Derbyshire, explains how the spatial framework from MHCLG could provide a viable vision for the growth of the knowledge economy across the Arc.
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Government buoyant about Arc but Spending Review investment is only just enough

The Government’s Spending Review announcement of £4 million to help deliver an Oxford-Cambridge Arc-wide spatial strategy, alongside four development corporations, will keep the Arc project afloat, but it’s just a drop in the ocean, according to Bidwells’ head of planning Mike Derbyshire.
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It’s time to plan strategically for the type of economy we really want

Covid 19 has forced us all to reconsider our view of the world.
New Bidwells research has revealed that up to 20 million sq ft of new lab and office space will be required in the Oxford-Cambridge Arc within the next two decades to keep pace with soaring demand, twice the volume of the previous 20 years.

Oxford-Cambridge Arc Beyond the Covid-19 Crisis

The Oxford-Cambrdge Arc has established a critical mass which is gaining momentum, with the core science, technology and engineering locations of Oxford, Cambridge and Milton Keynes reinvigorating the wider region.

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Insights and Research

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Arc Market Databook M1 South Industrial Spring 2021

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At the end of year, requirements in Milton Keynes stood 130% ahead of the same point 12 months earlier. This was driven primarily by the distribution sector, but also high tech engineering businesses seeking a range of floorplates. Units of over 50,000 sq ft represented 85% of floorspace requirements.
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Arc Market Databook Cambridgeshire Industrial Spring 2021

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Current requirements stand more than four times ahead of availability, with the science and tech sector’s growing influence on the market adding to the pressure. This is reflected in the demand for R&D space, with units of less than 20,000 sq ft representing more than half of total requirements by floorspace.
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Arc Market Databook Oxfordshire Industrial Spring 2021

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Distribution demand, further bolstered by the acceleration in online retailing as a result of the pandemic, formed much of the activity. However, the Oxfordshire market has also seen strong take up from the S&T sector with the biopharma, electric automotive engineering and space sectors all active during the latter months of 2020.

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